What you Need to Know about Estate Taxes

  • Estate taxes are taxes on the transfer of assets from the deceased to their beneficiaries.
  • Limiting estate taxes should not be the primary goal of your estate planning process.
  • Some options to minimize your estate tax are the marital deduction if you are married; “Portability” of the Applicable Exclusion if you have a deceased spouse; generation-skipping transfer tax if you have beneficiaries one or more generations below you; and making gifts to reduce the size of your estate.
  • Assets that are passed as gifts are still taxable so you should consult with an estate planning attorney like us to discuss the option that best fits you.
  • At the time of your death all of your assets can still be taxed, but if they are properly bequeathed to a surviving spouse on they can escape these taxes.
  • Non-U.S. citizen spouses may not be able to inherit your estate.
  • The Illinois State Estate Tax does not tax any estates with a value of less than $5.49 million (2017).
  • Estate Taxes must be paid nine months after the time of death.